Hello, my friends!
I hope you’re having a great day. I have been feeling much, much better this past month, and it all changed when I spoke with my therapist.
I often feel like I don’t have the tools I need to get through the hell that the mind and consciousness can be, and sometimes enough piles up on me to where I feel like I’m drowning in the middle of a desert. No matter how bright some days can be, the night always comes. I trace these times and feelings and see if I can make out a shape and find the culprit, but I never can find it.
I look back over my life and grew up in a great home. I f***ing LOVED my childhood! I had an amazing childhood filled with just enough mischief to balance out the laughter and peace my parents brought to our home. They were not perfect, but they were perfect for me, and I do not fault them for any shortcomings.
As the years passed and I moved away and started getting the education the world always provides its inhabitants, I started forming my own opinions on right and wrong, on how to live my life to find peace and fulfillment. In my mostly humble opinion, fulfillment is the penultimate. It’s the star in the sky that I’m dedicating my life towards. Not happiness or a lack of pain, I’m not sure it’s the right and only way to live, but it is the way I have chosen to live, and I feel at peace when I live like this.
If you had a childhood like mine, you didn’t need therapy. You could pray or talk to a sibling or a parent, and you’d be good.
Which is laughable.
I can get up on stage and act a fool all I want. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel anxious playing the fool or being a fun-loving person. But in the quiet moments of the night, I would start to fall apart. I’ve had a few panic attacks, and either scared the crap outta a family member or found myself in some kind of paralysis. I felt like I was physically going to die from this “imaginary” thing inside me, some emotion that I created. To me, it was absurd that my mind had the power to kill me. Or even worse, lock me into some hell from which I would escape. I even thought death would be the only escape.
I know how heavy that sounds. I know that you, my friend and reader, probably understand this better than I do. Woah, how did I get to this place? It’s hard to believe it. I mean, three paragraphs ago, I was talking about how great my childhood was. Now I’m reading, don’t-kill-myself books and stopping myself from ending it all by putting the weight on how sad it would make my loved ones. I’m not even focused on my life at this point, and that sentence right there proves that I see the only worth I have is in my loved ones’ happiness. I’m so far from where I want and NEED to be.
I’m not this way all the time. Most of the time, I’m up in the stratosphere or at peace with myself. I have lost friends, I have had the person I loved the most tell me they would rather die than be with me, and I can feel peace with that now. But I have an anxiety attack at 2 am, and I’m feeling like the world is ending, or even worse, that the world is moving on without me and that everything I am inside is darkness and dirt.
I lack the tools I need to work through this darkness.
This is why therapy is so critical for our survival. I’m not trying to be poetic when I say critical. What’s the point of life if you’re not even living? You’re taught how to walk, you’re taught how to speak, you’re taught how to write and read. When it comes to working through the things that prevent you from happiness, you’re left to your own devices.
Sometimes it is just a bad week or month. Sometimes you just need to go to bed and end that day. I’m a firm believer that some days just need to end. More often than we want to admit, we need to ask for help.
Why?! Why is it so hard to ask for help? If your arm is broken, you don’t think to yourself, “Oh, it’ll be fine in a month.” Hell no, you have to go get it set! I have a feeling it because of the same reason it always is – money.
It is expensive, it’s also worth the cost of having peace in your life. We can’t keep driving the car with no oil in it. You will destroy the engine. Why am I giving all of these analogies in this post? I don’t know, I just really want you to understand that this is important. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. I can say that all I want, but if I don’t act on that, it means nothing.
I can’t keep hearing people close to me say how bad, hard, or disappointing life is. Life is so wonderful! It’s horrible to you sometimes, but it’s filled with so much beauty. It’s filled with every single thing you love, every damn one of those things you love.
I lived too long white-knuckling the bad times. Years of this, I missed out on so much because I had my head down running for the next album. The next season of football, the next show, drink, fix, or girlfriend. I was too proud or thought it cost too much for me to talk to someone who knows how to help me.
If it was ten years ago, I don’t look like the person that needs help. Which is such horseshit. We’ve had fear and anxiety take the lives of people. It takes your life even if you don’t take your life. Missing out on the riches of a day, YOU’RE BEING ROBBED BY YOURSELF! It’s not your fault. You, much like I, need help finding perspective, need help finding the light in the darkness inside of us.
Therapy has saved my life. It has saved the life of a lot of people. There is one life that is incredibly special that it saved, and I hate being cryptic, but it’s not my place to share their story. All I know is that I would give all the money I have ever made to keep them in this world. Maybe it’s bad that I place so much of my hope for life in this person, but they just mean so much to me.
Friends are great to talk with! Thank God for friends, but there is a depth that they can’t go. If you are the friend in this situation, you need to politely advise your friend to seek counseling. Their life depends on it.
When do you need to talk with a therapist?
I know this is a lazy answer, but you know when you need to go in. I find myself making excuses not to go in. That’s a HUGE sign that I need to go in.
What is the typical session like?
It’s not some scary thing; they don’t give you something to take to help you get past the day. They just listen and help you make sense of things. You shouldn’t be afraid of a part of your life. Or not allow yourself to think of certain aspects of existence.
Will any therapist work for me?
In my experience, no. I have had some bad experiences with some therapists, where I felt like we were not on the same page. Not that they were evil, it just didn’t work for me.
Why should I pay someone to listen to me?
I think this is a funny question. It makes me think of my Dad. I respect him a lot! I don’t agree with him here, though. This person you’re speaking with, it’s a very unique relationship. They absolutely know what they’re talking about. They talk with people every day, they study fastidiously, they do not see you as a dollar sign. I believe that by paying them, you’re also solidifying to yourself that you want to get better.
I have a close relationship with my mother. I talk with her about all the issues I’m having.
I’m happy that you both are close! I really think you should reconsider talking with someone. Your sibling or parent, or partner might be a great listener. I have no doubt that they want what’s best for you, but even if they have a degree in the field, they have biased opinions, and if you’re having a hard time and talking to them about these issues for hours on end every week, it would be beneficial for them and you to get in and talk to someone!
If I could do one thing in your life, it’s get you in to see a therapist. It’s changed my life and helped me to find those tools to navigate the darkness. If you’re hurting, if you’re depressed, if you feel stuck. Please listen. There is help out there for us. I know it might seem like a huge wall to climb over – financially or just expending energy. It might seem embarrassing, but that light in you is still there. PLEASE talk to someone, set up that appointment today. Talk to them about the things you’re afraid to tell, even yourself. Be free from judgment for a little while… especially your own judgment.
If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, change therapists and try again, please! I want you to see the world the way it’s supposed to be seen and enjoyed.
Not sure where to start? Here are some listings to get you help! I really appreciate Ashely and Nick for helping me find this information. They are both AMAZING people and therapists. Some of the most kind, caring and thoughtful people I’ve ever met. If they give these links a thumbs up, then you know you’re in good hands
Let’s start with the easiest ones to work with, even if you’re not living in sunny AZ. Most of these website have a search engine that will help make your search incredibly easy as the engine will filter by therapy modality insurance, your location, insurance company.
Private Practice Therapist
Public behavioral health agencies that take AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System):
- Jewish Family & Children’s Services – They help all faiths, ages and backgrounds.
- Arizona’s Children Association – For younger children
- La Frontera EMPACT – A suicide prevention center
- Family Involvement Center – This is great for parents
Please put the numbers of the next three in your phone, even if you’re feeling great!
Crisis response network – If you’re feeling at the end of your rope, this is the place to call. They are ALWAYS available to talk with you –
Ashley added this about insurance – “Check your insurance website to find a provider that takes your insurance! Insurance websites are notoriously difficult to deal with, but it’s worth it if you can get insurance to cover! If you’re seeing a therapist at a private practice, sometimes (not always), you can get insurance to help with some of the cost through reimbursement. Ask the practice for a super bill to submit to your insurance. If you have a HSA (Health savings account) or FSA (Flexible spending account) card, sometimes you can use that to pay for private practice therapy.”
You have options, you don’t have to white knuckle your life anymore.